By Frederick H. Lowe
Saying he can no longer remain silent in the wake of deadly shootings of unarmed Black men by police and the shooting deaths of police officers, NBA great Michael Jordan, who is also owner of the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA, announced on Monday that he has donated a total of $2 million to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Institute for Community –Police Relations for the purpose of building trust and promoting best practices in community policing.
“To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, ” Jordan said. “My donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, will support its ongoing work in support of reforms that will build trust and respect between communities and law enforcement. Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference.”
“I am so pleased and honored that Michael Jordan will be making this donation to LDF in support of our policing reform efforts,” said Sherriyln Ifill, president and director counsel of LDF, which was founded by Thurgood Marshall.
“It is an act of true leadership that Mr. Jordan has chosen to use his stature to highlight the importance to all Americans and by taking a personal stance in support of organizations directly engaged in addressing this crisis in our nation. We are grateful for this support, which will allow to deepen our engagement on the issue of policing reform at this critical time in our country.”
Although Jordan, a member of the NBA Hall of Fame, donates money to various projects, he rarely speaks out on issues, but he said he was moved by the spate of deadly police shootings of unarmed black men and the deadly shootings of police.
“As a proud American, a father who lost his dad in a senseless act of violence, and a back man. I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well,” Jordan said.